Security Certificates Get The Axe

Monday, February 26, 2007

Written by Scott Gilbert

The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the controversial security certificates program that has caused so much outrage across the country. The court ruled that the use of security certificates violated the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The use of these documents by Canadian law enforcement officials is rare, but harsh. In the last 25 years only two dozen people have been arrested using security certificates, and with only six being held under the terms up until recently.

The process is used to detain suspected terrorists against their will, and often involves indefinite detention, secret evidence (that even their lawyer is forbidden to see), and the ultimate goal is usually deportation.

The top court is now giving Parliament one year to write a new law that adheres to the constitution.

Much of the opposition to security certificates came from the Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada, which was spearheaded by a group called Homes Not Bombs, whose primary campaigner is Matthew Behrens. Mr. Behrens has given numerous public lectures at the University of Guelph on this subject over the past few years.

To learn more about the campaign, please click here.

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